Photo: An autonomous cruising leisure boat developed by Avikus (Source: HHI Group)

HHI and partners ink MoU to bring autonomous ship navigation to market

South Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), autonomous navigation solutions startup Avikus, classification society Korean Register (KR) and Liberian Registry are collaborating to commercialise autonomous navigation technology.

The parties signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on 26 August to collaborate on bringing the Hyundai Intelligent Navigation Assistant System (HiNAS 2.0) to market.

Under the MoU, the system will be installed on KR classed and LISCR registered ships in July next year.

Avikus’ HiNAS 2.0 is the navigation system that creates optimal routes and speeds based on Hyundai Global Service’s Integrated Smartship Solution (ISS). Its artificial intelligence recognises the surrounding environment and then controls the vessel’s steering commands in real-time. 

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The solution was developed for increasing fuel efficiency and to ease the operational burden on bridge teams.

It is aiming to be the most advanced solution among the existing autonomous navigation systems at Level 2 autonomous operations, which are described as a remote controlled ship with seafarers on board.

“This collaboration is quite significant with the participation of different sectors, including a shipyard, an autonomous navigation solution developing company, a classification society and a flag registry. Based on the results of the collaboration, we will successfully commercialise the HiNAS 2.0 and enhance the safety and economic operation of ships”, said Do-hyeong Lim, Avikus’ CEO.

To remind, in June 2021, Avikus, became Korea’s first company to successfully demonstrate fully autonomous navigation of a 12-passenger cruise ship.

This year, the company completed the world’s first transoceanic voyage of a large merchant ship relying on autonomous navigation technology.

Avikus’ HiNAS 2.0 will be installed on 23 ships, including LNG carriers and boxships, operated by two South Korean shipping companies – SK Shipping and Sinokor Merchant Marine.

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